West Bromwich Albion

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Pardew ‘furious’ after four WBA players steal taxi in Spain

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At least when you’re bottom of the Premier League table and appear headed for relegation, as West Bromwich Albion now find themselves, you can take the positive approach that “the only way to go from here is up.”

[ FA CUP: Man United advance, drawn against PL opposition in QF ]

Alternatively, four of your most senior players — Jonny Evans, Gareth Barry, Jake Livermore and Boaz Myhill, in this case — might have other ideas and elect to steal a cab during a late-season training camp in Barcelona. That’s the current state of affairs for the Baggies and manager Alan Pardew, who openly admits he was “furious” and felt “let down” — quotes from the Guardian:

“This is obviously not ideal. They broke the curfew and that’s unacceptable and I feel a bit let down by that.”

“It’s difficult for managers. Obviously, I was furious with what happened but at the same time I’ve got to stay faithful to the players and give them a chance to remedy the situation.”

The night’s timeline reads something like this: the quartet wanted to go out in the city center, but everything was closed late at night; they got a taxi to a McDonald’s by the Barcelona port; the driver left the car, at which point the players decided to drive back to the team hotel around 5:30 a.m.; the care was returned to the cab driver around 8 a.m.

Evans was stripped of his captaincy for Saturday’s FA Cup fifth-round defeat to Southampton. The players have since released the following statement through the club’s website:

“We felt it important we identify ourselves as the players involved in an incident which occurred during the training camp in Spain this week out of respect for team-mates who otherwise could be implicated by association. We freely acknowledge and apologize for the break of curfew which we accept represented a breach of the standards of professionalism required of us as representatives of West Bromwich Albion.

“The club has informed us that it will now conduct its own inquiry into the incident and we will cooperate fully. In the meantime, we would like to assure our supporters that this incident does not reflect the determination and resolve we possess to do all we can to recover a difficult season.”

With 11 games left to play, West Brom currently sit seven points adrift of safety; Pardew’s position grows more and more tenuous with each point dropped; and three of their final 11 games are against Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.

Video: Rondon’s exquisite volley not enough to save West Brom

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Salomon Rondon’s second-half volley was not only a beauty, but one of tremendous difficulty.

Unfortunately for he and his West Bromwich Albion side, though, it wasn’t enough for the Baggies to survive in this season’s FA Cup fifth-round tie against Southampton.

[ MORE: Brilliant Messi through ball sends Suarez in for Barcelona opener ]

The Saints progressed to the quarterfinals on Saturday behind goals from Wesley Hoedt and Dusan Tadic, and join fellow Premier League sides Chelsea, Brighton & Hove and Leicester City in the final eight.

Tadic’s goal came in the 56th minute, doubling the Southampton lead, but Rondon’s quality volley two minutes later provided West Brom with a temporary moment of relief (below).

Evans, Barry, two others release apology for incident in Spain

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The quartet of West Brom players accused of stealing a taxi while breaking curfew in Spain has apologized to its team, fans, and bosses.

[ MORE: Chelsea loanees shining ]

Club captain (!!) Jonny Evans of Northern Ireland, backup goalkeeper Boaz Myhill (Wales) and English midfielders Jake Livermore and Gareth Barry are the players in question, and they released a statement on West Brom’s web site.

Saying they needed to claim responsibility for the incident so speculation could stop over which four players were in trouble, the four said (from wba.co.uk):

We freely acknowledge and apologise for the break of curfew which we accept represented a breach of the standards of professionalism required of us as representatives of West Bromwich Albion FC.

The Club has informed us that it will now conduct its own inquiry into the incident and we will co-operate fully.

In the meantime, we would like to assure our supporters that this incident does not reflect the determination and resolve we possess to do all we can to recover a difficult season.

It’s an incredibly stupid standard, especially considering not one of the four is a young buck, but it’s also not an indictment on their focus in the relegation race. The Spanish camp is a break for the players to come together; These four just chose to do something illegal (allegedly).

West Brom investigating four players after Spain incident

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[UPDATE: The four players involved have been identified and released a statement on the West Bromwich website apolgizing for their actions. The players are Johnny Evans, Gareth Barry, Jake Livermore and Boaz Myhill.]

It’s gone from bad to ugly for West Bromwich Albion this season.

Sitting in dead last in the Premier League standings, the club announced it has launched an internal investigation to determine what happened on Thursday evening during the team’s winter training trip to Barcelona.

According to multiple reports, four undisclosed players – later identified as Johnny Evans, Gareth Barry, Jake Livermore and Boaz Myhill – allegedly stole a taxi cab to return to the hotel the club were staying at. Local police allegedly followed up last night and pulled the four out of their rooms to interview them about what reportedly happened.

West Bromwich stated the players “will be subject to the full rigours of our internal disciplinary procedures.”

The club return home to the Hawthornes tomorrow to face Southampton in the FA Cup.

Basement boys West Brom fire key figures

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West Bromwich Albion have fired both their chairman, John Williams, and chief executive, Martin Goodman, with immediate effect.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Both of the senior officials have been handed a notice of termination of their contracts, while they’ve been placed on gardening leave, as owner Lai Guochuan oversees big changes at the top of the club.

In a statement the club revealed Mark Jenkins will become their new CEO.

Following his recent appointment as a director of WBA Holdings, the Club’s controlling company, Mark Jenkins is returning to be the football club’s CEO. These changes follow Albion’s poor results this season which currently sees the Club at the bottom of the Premier League.

A Club spokesperson said: “We would like to thank John and Martin for all their efforts since their appointments and wish them well for the future.”

Mark, who was previously CEO of the football club for 14 years, ten of which were spent in the Premier League, said: “There is much to do but for now the focus must solely be on the remaining games of this season.” There will be no further comment from the Club at this time.

The bottom club in the Premier League, currently seven points from safety with 11 games of the season to go, have won just one of their last 25 games in the league.

Alan Pardew took over from Tony Pulis in November after West Brom won their first two games of the season but failed to win any of the next 10. Since Pardew took charge West Brom have only won one of their last 13 league games.

Unless the Baggies have a huge upturn in form, and points, in the final months of the season then they will be relegated to the second-tier for the first time since 2010.